Photography competition documents Rohingya life through their own eyes
Held over a period of four months, the Rohingya Photography Competition will end with a Facebook live program on December 5, where winners of the competition will be announced.
Organized by the UK-based documentary filmmaker and journalist Shafiur Rahman, the worldwide photography competition for Rohingya ended on August 25, a date marked as ‘Genocide Day’ by the Rohingya refugees.
The competition attracted participants from the Rohingya diaspora in Europe as well as Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, India and Malaysia. One Rohingya participant submitted photos from Myanmar.
Over 124 days, 1673 photos were submitted by 58 photographers, among which 54 were men and 4 women. The theme for the competition was Rohingya life or the response to Covid-19.
Prize money will be given to the winners after the event. Two prize winners will receive cameras provided by MOAS, an international humanitarian organisation.
The Facebook Live will be held at 9 pm Bangladesh time. The event will host feature Liza Boschin, Journalist with Italian Broadcaster RAI and a competition judge; Elizabeth Laskar, Co-ordinator, Oxford Human Rights Festival; Nay San Lwin, cofounder, Free Rohingya Coalition; Professor John Packer, Director, Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa, Dr Ambia Perveen, Chair, European Rohingya Council, and Shafiur Rahman, organiser of the competition.
The competition attracted widespread support, says its organizer. Prominent human rights activists, journalists, photographers and others contributed their own images in support of the competition.
The competition received coverage in international media such as Al Jazeera, Internazionale, Global Voices, and Weapons of Reason. Bangladeshi English language daily Dhaka Tribune is the media partner for the competition.
A selection of photographs will be exhibited at the Oxford Human Rights Festival in 2021 and also at the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa.
The director of the Centre, Professor John Packer, is planning a publication around the photographs submitted in the competition. Jurgen Schadeberg, an acclaimed documentary photographer and chronicler of apartheid South Africa, has contributed a foreword for the publication.
Competition Judge and RAI Journalist Liza Boschin said the competition will help visualize the Rohingya struggle.
“Rohingya are a strong and resilient people. Imagine enduring a pandemic’s stresses and fear in Kutupalong, the biggest refugee camp in the world. After decades of struggles and displacement, a million men, women and children find themselves living here and Covid is the latest daily challenge in this complicated corner of the world,” Boschin said in a press release by the organizer.
The website for the competition can be seen at kutupalong.com and its official Instagram page at ‘rohingyaphotography.’ The winning photographs will be published in Dhaka Tribune.